Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III Gives An Appropriate Salute To His “Just-Us” Department

(U.S. ‘Just-Us’ Dept. Photo.) By Aaro Rupar ThinkProgress (11/9/17) On Wednesday, the Justice Department shared photos of Attorney General Jeff Sessions welcoming new U.S. Attorneys in a tweet that was regrettable for reasons that go beyond Sessions’ arm angle. Of the 27 people visible in the photos, just one is a woman. [And only one African American. – Ed.] The gender disparity in the photos isn’t a fluke — it reflects how few women Trump has nominated to serve as the country’s top federal prosectors. In mid-September, CNN reported that just one of the 42 U.S. attorneys Trump had nominated to that…


The Only One Punished Since Eric Garner’s Killing Is The Citizen-Journalist Who Recorded It

Ramsey Orta Can’t Breathe By Josmar Trujillo Fair & Accuracy in Reporting (11/8/17)   When we went to a New York state prison to visit Ramsey Orta, the young man who filmed a police officer choking Eric Garner to death on a Staten Island sidewalk in 2014, we didn’t even make it past the metal detectors. Last year, members of El Grito de Sunset Park, an NYC-based group that organizes patrols to film cops on the street, as Ramsey did, drove with me a few hours north to Fishkill prison, where Ramsey was being held. We called ahead to confirm…


There’s More CO2 In The Atmosphere Now Than Any Point In Almost A Million Years

  The World (10/30/17) Carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere hit a new record in 2016. The concentration of the heat-trapping gas is higher than it’s been in at least 800,000 years, including all of human history.30/17) That’s the word from the United Nations’ World Meteorological Organization. The WMO says last year’s CO2 spike was 50 percent greater than the average increase over the past decade, which Petteri Taalas, the organization’s secretary-general, says is very bad news. “This is demonstrating that we are not moving in the right direction at all,” Taalas said at a news conference Monday from the WMO’s home…


This European Comedy Show Explains How The World Sees America’s Twisted Gun Fetish

By German Lopez Vox (11/6/17) When the rest of the world looks at America’s gun problem, it’s often with bafflement. Sunday with Lubach, which is sort of like the Dutch version of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, looked at guns — specifically, the US’s love of firearms. And it’s very telling. For one, the satirical Dutch video describes America’s love of guns as so bad that it is an illness: Nonsensical Rifle Addiction, or NRA — a reference to the biggest gun lobby group in the country. From the outside, it’s just baffling. “Dear fellow Europeans,” the video’s narrator begins, “a…


CARTOON: Donald Trump Actually Speaks The Truth…

***** The Dark, Dangerous & Twisted Cult Of Donald Trump By Reza Aslan Los Angeles Times (11/6/17) I am not the first person to point this out: There’s been a cultish quality to President Trump’s most ardent supporters. He seemed to acknowledge the phenomenon when he boasted that he could “stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody” and not lose voters. Throughout the campaign, and in personal appearances since then, Trump has harnessed the kind of emotional intensity from his base that is more typical of a religious revival meeting than a political rally, complete with ritualized communal…


Bernie Calls For Paradise Papers Investigation Before Considering GOP Billionaire Tax Scam

  By Andrew Emmet Nation of Change (11/7/17) In response to the recent Paradise Papers leak disclosing nearly 7 million financial documents detailing high-profile offshore accounts and tax havens, Sen. Bernie Sanders called for an investigation into the disclosures before even considering the GOP’s new tax plan. Due to the fact that most of the information in the leak involved U.S. citizens, residents, and companies, Sanders also urged Americans to “end the rapid movement toward international oligarchy.” On November 2, Sanders issued a statement concerning the Republican tax plan: “Donald Trump is labeling the disastrous Republican tax bill as the ‘Cut, Cut,…


Why Wall Street Suck-Up “Centrists” Will Sink the Democrats, If They Haven’t Already

  By Richard Eskow OurFuture.org (10/24/17) No political ideology in modern American history has failed as consistently, or for as long, as the Wall Street-friendly political brand known as “Democratic centrism.” It’s true that individual politicians have succeeded under this umbrella, through art and luck, but their party and their policies have faltered under this ideology.  Yet its practitioners continue to hawk their wares, undeterred by a losing streak that has brought their party to its knees. Consider the recent New York Times column from Steven Rattner, the Wall Street executive who helped Barack Obama rescue the auto industry. Mr. Rattner…


WARNING: Russian Cyber Warfare Is An Immediate Threat To World Democracy

  By Natalie Nougayrède The Guardian (11/4/11) Anyone in Europe and Britain worried about the state of US democracy should take time to watch the videos of this week’s congressional hearings over Russian online meddling in the 2016 presidential election. If the words “checks and balances” mean anything, this surely is it. My favourite moment is when senator Dianne Feinstein leans into the microphone and says sternly to the Facebook, Twitter and Google representatives(whose evasive answers have exasperated her): “You don’t get it! This is a very big deal. What we’re talking about is cataclysmic. It is cyber warfare. A major foreign power with sophistication and ability got…


Russia Monitor: The Incompetent Gang That Couldn’t Collude Straight

  By Dan Peak The Commoner Call (11/9/17) Dear Fellow Readers, Trump-Russia: The gang that couldn’t collude straight! There are two goals for the column today: 1) examples of the breadth and depth of history of Trump-Russia, and; 2) a closer look at Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and Trump campaign foreign policy adviser. Imagine, we’ve come so far – we can now consider breadth and depth of Trump-Russia collusion, well past the “what about this meeting between…?”. As The Washington Post notes the whole issue of “did they or didn’t” they collude with Russia is pretty obvious: The Trump Administration Is Up…


Reign Of Terror At Colorado Boys & Girls Ranch Finally Stopped Years After Abuse First Reported

  By Health Impact News/MedicalKidnap.com Staff (11/6/17) When Lisa Mitchell contacted Health Impact News in 2016 about the medical kidnapping of her son Samuel, she recounted horrific acts of abuse that her son suffered at the hand of El Pueblo Boys and Girls Ranch, where he was forced to stay by Child Protective Services for 6 years. Now, that facility has been shut down by the state of Colorado – permanently. It is a measure of vindication for the Mitchells and other families who suffered at El Pueblo, but the years that they lost can never be replaced. Samuel told Denver’s ABC 7 that: “They…


VIDEO: Gary Younge Interviews Nazi White Supremacist Richard Spencer: ‘Africans have benefited from white supremacy’

The Guardian (11/6/17) In a dramatic interview, the Guardian’s Gary Younge speaks to white supremacist Richard Spencer about why he wants to create an ‘ethno-state’ for white people, and why he believes that Africans have ‘benefited from white supremacy’ Watch the full-length documentary Angry, White and American on BBC Channel 4 on Thursday 9 November at 10 p.m. Link to Story and 3-Minute Video 


Time For Revolt! Three Richest Americans Now Own More Wealth Than Bottom Half Of US Combined: Report

  By Jake Johnson Common Dreams (11/8/17) In the United States, the 400 richest individuals now own more wealth than the bottom 64 percent of the population and the three richest own more wealth than the bottom 50 percent, while pervasive poverty means one in five households have zero or negative net worth. Those are just several of the striking findings of Billionaire Bonanza 2017, a new report (pdf) published Wednesday by the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS) that explores in detail the speed with which the U.S. is becoming “a hereditary aristocracy of wealth and power.” “Over recent decades, an incredibly disproportionate…


Kenyan Health Providers Call Trump’s Catastrophic Global Gag Rule ‘a death sentence’ For Poor Women

“We’ve been given a death sentence.”  By Traci Tong The World (11/2/17) That’s how one Kenyan health clinic views President Donald Trump’s ban on US federal funding for international groups that provide, support or discuss abortions. Critics call the policy the “global gag rule.” The US already prohibits the use of funds for foreign family planning centers that provide abortions. But the global gag rule goes one step further in that it restricts doctors or other health providers in these centers from even mentioning the word, “abortion,” to their patients. Kenya is heavily dependent on US health funds to fight HIV/AIDS and provide female reproductive…


The Texas Shooting Victims Should Sue The U.S. Government. They’d Win.

  (Editor’s Note: If you know of anyone even peripherally impacted by the deaths and woundings in the Texas church shooting forward this article to them. This information needs to get into that community and the impacted families. – Mark L. Taylor) By John Culhane Politico (11/8/17) The devastation wrought by all-too-regular mass shootings leads to immediate and predictable calls for “thoughts and prayers” for the victims. But what about compensation for the harm suffered? Unfortunately, that is one area in which U.S. law is inadequate, often preventing any kind of redress for the victims. But that’s not so in…


CARTOON: Jefferson Beuauregard Sessions III Blabs He Was Aware Of Papadopoulos-Russia Contacts — Contradicting His Earlier Sworn Testimony

By Brad Reed The Raw Story (11/2/17) Attorney General Jeff Sessions reportedly now admits that he was aware of George Papadopoulos’s efforts to arrange meetings between the Trump campaign and Russia — a seemingly direct contradiction of sworn testimony he gave to the Senate. Sources tell NBC News that Sessions now remembers rejecting a proposal by Papadopoulos to set up a meeting between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin. NBC News reporter Ken Dilanian, appearing on MSNBC Thursday afternoon, explained that this was significant because “he testified under oath that he was aware of no discussions with Russians, at least concerning collusion…


Another Mass Shooting: This Time In Texas. In A Church. Victims Ages 5 to 72. Just Another Day In America

Editor’s Note: The Commoner Call runs this cartoon after every headline-grabbing mass shooting (a mass shooting – defined as four or more fatalities – happens daily in the U.S. Most only get local press coverage). Nothing changes but not to worry, the nation’s leaders will keep you in their cynical thoughts ‘n empty prayers if you lose a loved one to a mass shooting. What evil madness! – Mark L. Taylor ***** At Least 26 Dead In Shooting At Texas Baptist Church By Nina Golgowski, Paige Lavender & Doha Madani The HuffPost (11/5/17) A shooting at a church outside of San Antonio,…


Anything For A Buck: Maker Of Bump Stock Murder Tool Resumes Sales One Month After Las Vegas Mass Shooting

  The Co-conspirator By Igor Bobic The HuffPost (11/1/17) A leading manufacturer of bump stocks, devices that make semi-automatic weapons function like machine guns, told customers on Tuesday it is resuming sales of them in limited quantities. “We would like to take the time to thank all of our customers for their patience and support throughout this past month!” Slide Fire, the company that produces the devices, said in an email, according to The Trace. The announcement comes just one month after the mass shooting in Las Vegas ―  the deadliest such shooting in modern U.S. history. Law enforcement officials said the gunman, Stephen Paddock,…


Russia Monitor: Threatening Totalitarianism Ratchets Up The Stakes Of Mueller Probe

  He is a fake president trying to force his authoritarian fake reality upon the nation. By Dan Peak The Commoner Call (11/6/17) Dear Fellow Readers, David Roberts of Vox poses an excellent question, “what if Mueller proves his case and it doesn’t matter?”. Greg Sargent of The Washington Post offers the same concern as he addresses the real risk we face with Trump and Trump-Russia collusion: New Reporting Deals Another Big Blow To Trump’s Dangerous Russia Spin. “… that the alleged Russian sabotage itself, irrespective of whether his (Trump) campaign colluded with it, definitively never happened at all and, by extension, doesn’t…


White Supremacists Share Bomb-Making Materials In Regular Online Chats

    By A.C. Thompson & Ali Winston ProPublica (11/2/17) Right-wing extremists communicating in confidential online chats in recent months have shared scores of documents detailing the manufacture and use of bombs, grenades, mines and other incendiary devices. The documents, which range from instructions on detonating dynamite to U.S. military manuals for constructing improvised explosives and booby traps, were passed around during online conversations among members of Anticom, a secretive and militant group that has emerged during the past year. Records of the online chats were made available to ProPublica by Unicorn Riot, a leftist media collective that has reported critically on racist marches and…


Secrecy & Deceit: Hillary’s Corrupt, Shadowy Big Money Takeover Of The DNC Began Long Before 2016 Campaign

*** “It would be weeks before I would fully understand the financial shenanigans that were keeping the party on life support.” (Editor’s Note: Brazile also details how Obama bled the party to enrich his consultants, driving it into a staggering $24 million debt. And now Clinton/Obamaton Tom Perez is DNC chair? With friends like that…? Who the hell would donate to the DNC now? At a time when the need for a strong, vibrant and honest Democratic party couldn’t be greater we see a party in shambles. Donate only directly to progressive candidates, groups and causes and for those of…


Autopsy: What Killed The Democratic Party?

A bracing autopsy of the 2016 election—and a plan for revitalization. By Wlliam Greider The Nation (10/30/17) The Democratic Party lost just about everything in 2016, but so far it has offered only evasive regrets and mild apologies. Instead of acknowledging gross failure and astounding errors, the party’s leaders and campaign professionals wallowed in self-pity and righteous indignation. The true villains, they insisted, were the wily Russians and the odious Donald Trump, who together intruded on the sanctity of American democracy and tampered with the election results. Official investigations are now under way. While the country awaits the verdict, a…


American Injustice: Innocent Man Restores Autobiographical Account Of Being Held & Tortured For 14 Years In Guantanamo

  On The Media (11/3/17) When Mohamedou Ould Slahi was released from Guantanamo Bay in 2016, after 14 years behind bars, he was finally able to read Guantanamo Diary, the bestselling book he had written while imprisoned. And for the first time, he saw the thousands of black bars the FBI had placed over much of his account of capture, torture, and interrogation. This year, Slahi and his original editor, writer and activist Larry Siems, set to work unredacting his work. Bob speaks with Siems about their efforts to finally release the full Guantanamo Diary.  Link to Story and 8-Minute Audio ***** Resilience in Guantanamo: More Honorable Than The Govt. That…


Warren & Sanders Deliver 3-Minute Takedown Of GOP’s Pro-Billionaire & Corporate Tax Cut Scam

  Wisconsin’s very own Rep. Paul Ryan campaigns in Delavan, Wisconsin for GOP tax scam to siphon off the last nickles of wealth from the middle-class and poor to give even more to corporations and the super wealthy.  By Jake Johnson Common Dreams (11/2/17) In a video released shortly after House Republicans unveiled a tax plan they claim “is for the middle class families in this country who deserve a break,” Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) argued—consistent with independent analyses—that the GOP’s proposals would in fact primarily reward large corporations and wealthy individuals while slashing programs low-income and middle class…


Top Trump Pollster: ‘No Question’ Bernie Sanders Would Have Won

  By Jake Johnson Common Dreams (10/31/17) At a Harvard University Institute of Politics event on Monday, Tony Fabrizio—the chief pollster of Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign—argued there is “no question” that Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) would have defeated Trump in the general election had he emerged victorious from the Democratic primary. “I think Sanders beats Trump,” Fabrizio concluded. “I think Sanders would have had the ability to reach a lot of the less than college-educated, low-income white voters.” Polls continue to show the democratic socialist from Vermont is far and away America’s most popular politician. Fabrizio’s comments are consistent with polls conducted in…


Protect Our Water: There’s Another Standing Rock Simmering In Minnesota

  By Hilary Beaumont VICE News (11/3/17) A protest camp resembling the early days of Standing Rock has sprung up in Minnesota with the goal of stopping the Enbridge Line 3 pipeline, a new project that would triple the capacity of an existing pipeline from the Alberta oil sands into the U.S. Enbridge Inc., based in Calgary, Alberta says it is simply replacing and upgrading an existing aging pipeline built in the 1960s, but activists point out that the new project will allow the company to move 760,000 barrels of oil per day, up from its current 390,000 barrels a…


Majority Of Dems Want To Ditch Tired Leadership & Move Left; They’re Right

  By Richard Eskow Campain for America’s Future (10/31/17) A new poll shows that most Democratic voters want the party to move left, with new people in charge. In other words, they want a political revolution. They’ve got the right idea. If the party establishment thinks Robert Mueller’s investigation will save it, it’s probably wrong. After President Richard Nixon and Vice President Spiro Agnew were both removed from office for malfeasance, Jimmy Carter barely eked out a win in 1976. Four years later, Ronald Reagan’s victory ushered in 12 years of Republican leadership in the White House. That’s a lesson for today’s…


Daily Dose: Time To Restore Humanity, Civility & Heartfelt Communication To Politics? Here’s How

  By Scott Wittkopf Frame4Future.org (10/31/17) In my last blog, I discussed the reasons (based on the most current research in cognitive science and political psychology) that strategies based on rationality, facts, and issues are so ineffective. This blog will begin a discussion about how to effectively connect and communicate with people in a way that bridges our deep political divides. Thanks to a friend and colleague who called my attention to a recent article in The Atlanticonline. “On Safari in Trump’s America” was written by a reporter who travelled around Western Wisconsin with “researchers” from a Third Wave Democrat think tank, conducting post-election…


Russia Monitor: Is The White House Scared, Yet?

  By Dan Peak The Commoner Call (11/2/17 Dear Fellow Readers, What happened and why is it important? Special Counsel Robert Mueller Charges Three Former Trump Campaign Officials Mueller is serious. Mueller is organized. Mueller’s actions are very bad news for Trump, his campaign staff, White House staff and associates. Trump is very pissed and his support groups are working hard to deflect and attack. This is very big news and very important regarding Trump-Russia and interference in our 2016 election. The timing is earlier than expected and the impact sends a clear signal. Special Counsel Robert Mueller indicted Paul…


Yellow: The Cowardice Of Paul Ryan & Mitch McConnell

  By Ezra Klein Vice (10/31/17) Earlier this month, Speaker Paul Ryan told what was, in theory, a joke. “Every morning I wake up in my office and I scroll through Twitter to see which tweets I will have to pretend I didn’t see later on,” he said at the Al Smith Charity Dinner, to appreciative chuckles. Monday, however, was a reminder that Ryan wasn’t kidding. Appearing on WTAQ, a Wisconsin radio station, he was asked what he thought of the indictments Robert Mueller had issued. “I really don’t have anything to add other than nothing is going to derail what we’re…


Head Of Puerto Rico Electrical Workers’ Union Demands Corruption Probe Of Whitefish Energy Contract

  Democracy Now! (10/30/17) Democracy Now! has just returned from Puerto Rico, where we interviewed Ángel Figueroa Jaramillo, head of the Puerto Rico electrical workers’ union, just as the island’s governor announced he was instructing the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority, known as PREPA, to cancel its controversial $300 million contract with the tiny Montana-based company Whitefish Energy. The move came after enormous pressure and scrutiny of the contract to reconstruct Puerto Rico’s electrical power grid devastated by Hurricane Maria. Whitefish Energy is based in the tiny hometown of Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke. The head of the private equity company that…


50 Years Of Ongoing Atrocities & Impunity: The Hidden US War In Colombia You Never Hear Of

  Approximately 40 mass killers and torturers spirited out of Columbia by CIA and given refuge in United States. One was known as the “Drill” for his penchant for molesting girls as young as 9 years old. Empire Files (10/4/17) Colombia and Venezuela: two neighboring countries that receive extremely different treatment by the US Empire and the mass media. While Colombia is known for one of the worst human rights records in the world, it remains a top recipient of US military aid and enjoys uncritical press coverage in Western media. To explain the 50+ year history of US intervention…


Podcast: The Plague Of Fascism Darkening America

    By Christopher Lydon Open Source (8/14/17) It’s plague time in America. We’ve reacquainted ourselves with the wannabe centurions of white supremacy: their faces, their weapons, their torches. We have a new notion of what homegrown American fascism could look like in the 21st century. We can see it all too clearly here in Vice‘s low-light reel from Charlottesville. The sense of a dreaded illness engulfs us, as the classic novel of Europe’s 20th century fascist breakdown warned us. Albert Camus’ Plague closes on the doctor’s note that the germ of our problem never dies or disappears: “it bides its time in bedrooms, cellars,…


Ag-Gag Laws Target Reformers While Coddling & Protecting Industrial Animal Abusers

By Janine Jackson Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting (9/22/17) Simply put, if an industry goes after people who seek to investigate it, it’s a pretty good indication that they’re doing something they don’t want you to know. This is certainly the case with the animal agriculture industry. The term “ag-gag,” introduced by New York Times food writer Mark Bittman, describes the slew of laws introduced to target undercover investigations and whistleblowing about the industry. Because, it turns out, when people don’t just hear about but see piglets having their heads bashed against cement floors, or cows too sick to walk being picked up by…


‘Our minds can be hijacked’: Growing Number Of Tech Insiders Fear A Smothering Smartphone, Social Media Dystopia

  Your brain on social media. By Paul Lewis The Guardian (10/6/17) Justin Rosenstein had tweaked his laptop’s operating system to block Reddit, banned himself from Snapchat, which he compares to heroin, and imposed limits on his use of Facebook. But even that wasn’t enough. In August, the 34-year-old tech executive took a more radical step to restrict his use of social media and other addictive technologies. Rosenstein purchased a new iPhone and instructed his assistant to set up a parental-control feature to prevent him from downloading any apps. He was particularly aware of the allure of Facebook “likes”, which he…


Naomi Klein: We Are Seeing The ‘Shock Doctrine’ In Real Time After Hurricanes Harvey & Irma

  Democracy Now! (9/18/17) Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner has tapped the former head of U.S. operations for oil giant Shell to lead Houston’s post-Hurricane Harvey recovery effort. Marvin Odum was the chair of Shell for eight years. He retired in 2016. Hurricane Harvey killed at least 82 people, flooded thousands of homes and destroyed billions of dollars of property. It also caused widespread environmental contamination, triggering a half-million-gallon gasoline spill and the release of up to 5 million pounds of pollutants into the air. For more, we speak with best-selling author and journalist Naomi Klein. Link to Story and 16-Minute…


BS’er Scotty Walker Behind New Republican Fake News Site

  By Hunter The Daily Kos (9/20/17) We were all distracted by the sheer terribleness of the Republican efforts to strip health insurance, and Republican efforts to specifically deport children, and Republican efforts to defend Trump’s campaign team from being investigated as conspirators assisting the intelligence efforts of a foreign government. Then there were the What’s the point of going to such efforts to hide a party-produced website as an independent media outlet? There’s only one: to intentionally mislead voters. Republican efforts to pack the courts by systemically nullifying the very same rules they used to block the last Democratic…


CARTOON: The Most Outlandish, Bizarre, Scandalous, Unbelievable, Grotesque, Pathetic, Hilarious, Nutty, Over-The-Top & Scariest Halloween Costume, EVER!

***** Everybody’s Talking About It: For Trump, Words Are Stupidest, Dumbyist, Poo-Poo Things, Ever! By Michael Winship BillMoyers.com (10/27/17) In Britain late last week, Conservative Member of Parliament Nicholas Soames, grandson of Winston Churchill, described Donald Trump as a “daft twerp.” Not quite the soaring rhetoric of his illustrious forebear but succinct. Soames rightly was objecting to a Trump tweet that tried to link a 13 percent rise in the crime rate in England and Wales to radical Islamic terrorism, a notion that the president may have picked up from a conspiracy website. The UK Office for National Statistics that issued…


VIDEO: Now Here Is A True All American Dream

  Today special independent prosecutor Robert Mueller’s team is scheduled to announce their first arrest(s). Given the shady and outright criminal behavior already known, the possibilities of Trump administration arrests are truly boundless … limitless. As of this writing exactly what – if anything – happens Monday is unknown but let us hope the short video below is a preview of things to come from the Mueller investigation. Thanks to Commoner Call contributor Dan Peak for forwarding it. In the meantime, enjoy… Link to 2-Minute Video


The (Much Needed) Bruising Liberal-Left Divide Reshaping American Politics

  By Pete Davis The Guardian (10/26/17) It has been almost a year since the catastrophic election of Donald Trump. In his first year in office, the president has governed as cruelly and ineptly as his critics predicted. But while anti-Trump sentiment has never been more fierce and widespread, his political opponents are more divided than ever. And this faultline – which has parallels in Britain with divisions among the Labour party – could, if left unaddressed, compromise efforts to resist and defeat Trumpism. Roughly speaking, these two sides could be characterised as the “populist wing” and the “establishment wing” of the…


They Can’t Handle The Truth: Ron Kind’s ‘Third Way’ Comes To Wisconsin, Heard What It Wanted To Hear And Continues With It’s Clinton Corporate Delusions

  The researchers had somehow found their premise perfectly illustrated. Their journey to Trump’s America had done nothing to unsettle their preconceptions. By Molly Ball The Atlantic (10/23/17) It was the hippies who drove Nancy Hale over the edge. She had spent three days listening respectfully to the real people of Middle America, and finally she couldn’t take it any longer. She turned off the tape recorder and took several deep breaths, leaning back in the passenger seat of the rented GMC Yukon. The sun had just come out from behind a mass of clouds, casting a gleam on the rain-soaked…